Headley took a day off work and brought her one-year-old son to the HRA office in Boerum Hill to figure out why her child care benefit was cut off.
Although she got to the center by 9 a.m., there were no seats left in the waiting area. Headley and her son waited for four hours, and tired of standing, decided to sit on the floor.
Rather than giving her a folding chair, the security guard instead demanded that she get up. After she refused multiple times, security called the cops, which led to the ugly confrontation resulting in her son being ripped from her arms while she was arrested.
If it wasn’t for bystanders recording the incident and sharing it on Facebook, the world would have never seen just how disgusting the whole scene was. In all likelihood, Headley would have gone to court without the benefit of doubt.
Headley is now in Rikers Island, and her son was placed in the care of his grandmother. The courts wrongly issued her a full order of protection from her son.
This whole ordeal could have been avoided if the security guard, the police officers and their supervisors treated Headley with dignity and respect. They should have de-escalated the situation, rather than arresting her just for wanting to sit from a four-hour wait.
Headley’s bogus charges of “endangering the welfare of a child” should be dropped immediately. Her removal from Rikers should be expedited. She should be reunited with her son as soon as possible.
More importantly, the city needs to apologize and hold the officers accountable for their actions. They must address Headley’s child care benefit so she can go back to work and lead a normal life.